I cannot believe it's been that long, but apparently yesterday was my lucky 13th Blogoversary. What? No card? No flowers?
Because I'm pretty sentimental I thought about all the folks who have traveled through this blogosphere like that lady from Atlanta, Retire at 50, the guy who was living in his car for a while, and another really funny one. Someone help me remember some of the others!
I've been determined not to go to the grocery store for another few days so we've had some slightly unusual meals. Last night's burgers were accompanied by kohlrabi fries. I just need to figure out what to do with the huge cabbage in the fridge. Maybe I'll try that eggroll in a bowl again. Or resort to store cupboard enchiladas for dinner.
In other mundane but satisfying news, my DD voted for the first time yesterday. I voted absentee, but am a dedicated voter, and hope she emulates that behavior. She was proud of her "I voted" sticker. And I cashed $35 out of SB and MyPoints to add to my big goal
I also did a usage test on some crackers, sampling three kinds they sent. For that I gained a $10 Amazon card that went for a wallet for DD. No other news--hard at work prepping for classes!
Viewing the 'Offspring' Category
I cannot believe it's been that long, but apparently yesterday was my lucky 13th Blogoversary. What? No card? No flowers?
I've noticed that if I get up and go for a walk for about 40 minutes before sitting down to work, my day goes so much better. I've been walking with DD almost every day, but that morning walk alone seems to clear my head and give me much more energy. And two walks a day seems like a good idea, right?
I've got a document to edit this morning for a university committee, and will also have to face some decisions about class cancellations. My dept chair would like to drop two more classes, and I'll have to decide whose will go. I'm asking him to just drop one, but our budget is dire for the department and university as a whole.
Lots of veggies from the CSA to use up. I made veggie enchiladas a couple of days ago, and the recipe made about twice the filling needed, but my DH is the king of leftovers, so he's been filling quesadillas with it. I've got my first cherry tomatoes and lots of peas from my planter box vines. I've never grown peas before, but they've done well in wheeled planters with a makeshift trellis repurposed from ancient tomato cages. And they have the added advantage of acting as a patio screen from the neighbors who must get sick of me hanging clothes and talking to the birds.
The big goal has been updated with some cash from Swagbucks and MyPoints. I seem to be able to hit those sites regularly now without papers to grade and while watching rom-coms and documentaries with DD. If you haven't seen "The Biggest Little Farm" on Netflix, I recommend it. It's a lovely film about a young couple trying to start an organic farm.
Wishing you all a lovely sunny cool day like we have here!
I keep hearing John Mayer singing, "waiting on the world to change" in my head. Right now we seem to be waiting so we can take the next step and wait some more.
Our biggest wait worry is for DD's "CAS" number. I think (I'm foggy lately) I wrote that she's decided after all to go to Edinburgh for university. Her AP scores were excellent--all 5's--and she had an unconditional offer. But we need that number from the school so her visa can get started. Then we'll wait for the visa. Then we'll find a place for the mandatory two-week quarantine after arriving in Scotland. And flights, and packing. I'm going with her for the quarantine period and for a few more days. The university would provide isolation facilities, but we'll get an airbnb, order groceries in, and wait it out. I can't say I'm looking forward to that flight, but the infection rate is so much lower there, I'm happy she can get out of here.
I can teach online--and all my classes (and all my colleagues' classes) are online, so one of our airbnb requirements is great wifi and some outdoor space.
This will all be mightily expensive so we're saving and scrimping. And I'm learning all the rules for college spending. And I'm getting my classes as ready to go as possible. Waiting but busy.
I'm not one to complain about paying my taxes. I support the necessary work of the government, but I knew, given my DH's better hourly rate this year we could be hit hard. And we were. My adjunct job has horrible bookkeeping and their withholding is always screwed up, so that made it worse. But heck, we had enough in the checking account to pay it, so onward.
Spending today was limited to selling my DD's AP prep books on ebay. One sold and we pocketed $5.80 after shipping. And her AP results came today--she's a superstar. Three 5s. Very proud mom here.
Now must do some minor belt tightening to make up for the tax bill. My adjunct university will probably not be in my plans this years. I'm too busy at regular work, so that withholding issue will be gone.
I'd love to turn off the A/C but it's rained buckets tonight and feels like the jungles of Brazil out there. Ugh.
Spending some time this week getting DD ready for university and looking for some ideas. She has a debit card, but I wonder if she should have a secured credit card? Or if we should get her a card on our account? It seems the secured card would help her build credit, and there are several with no fees. We'd link it to her checking account and pay it off every month.
Any advice? Ideas?
Though June seemed to last forever, maybe Paul Simon is right, and July, she will fly?
We started the morning picking strawberries at a local farm. We went early to avoid the heat, and picked just one flat. I'll make freezer jam tonight, but freeze others for smoothies and maybe a strawberry margarita or two. There'll be some for desserts and lots for just eating.
Got the news that DD's UK adult passport app has been received so that's good news. And we've switched our Friday summer lunches out to Wednesdays, so went to a cute nearby town on Lake Michigan for an outside deli lunch. Very hot here inland, but as usual, cooler by the lake. I've updated so saving figures, and need to make some appointments this afternoon. We're watching Neal Oliver's BBC History of Scotland which has been really interesting. Will do some university work tonight while DD is at her grocery job. I still can't get over the fact it's July.
Today was my daughter's last day of high school. It was, as expected, very anticlimactic. They'll take cap and gown photos next week. She started the process for an online summer class at my home campus, transferable to her university this fall. Once the paperwork goes through, she'll be set.
I participated in an online focus group about online education for 90 minutes today for which I'll receive $100. It was fun and interesting to meet with nine educators from all over the country. We all have the same concerns, so it was reassuring to be together with people who understand the situation and are doing their best to serve their students and institutions.
That $100 will go into my big goal fund which is looking more and more like my UK home fund.
I cleaned my closet yesterday with a goal to get rid of 20 things which I hit on the nose. Today's community service goal was to remember to drop off some canned goods at the church food pantry which thankfully got done. DD and I went for a long walk admiring the flowering crab trees and lilacs. I'm also admiring my carrots and radishes which are all enjoying the sunshine. My peas are up, and we've located several old tomato frames which we're repurposing into a trellis for them. Next goal--soup from various fridge bits and pieces.
It looks like a nice weekend. Onward.
It's been a nice weekend--the first in months without full drop boxes of papers to read. We had a family meeting yesterday morning and created a rather large list of summer projects. I have to laugh; my DH is not one for change and thinks our bedroom color is just fine. It was last painted 17 years ago when we moved in. It's a long list, but it will be a nice balance between prepping for a probably all online fall semester and doing lots of home projects.
I think our DD will likely take a summer class online too. Just something easy to knock off a GER.
DD and I masked up and spent a good part of the afternoon at Costco. Costco itself did a great job with safety, masking their employees, wiping down the carts, and installing plexiglass at the register. But old habits are hard for people to break and I think one-way aisles at all stores for now would be a great idea. We bought a lot, so I'm glad we won't be going back for a while. It was the first time I've been in a store since March 13.
On to good news: my semester is over, my daughter took her final AP exam today, it's spring, and summer awaits. It's not the summer anyone planned on, but I have projects, and a nice list of things that can be done.
Yes, it's that time. I'm deep into the dropboxes and digging them out. I'll also have a lot of late work to handle as some of my students have really struggled with online learning. It's great for the happy, bright, and motivated. It's not so great for the worried, sad, and struggling. But we'll do what we can to get them out as unscathed as possible.
I've decided it would be a swell idea for DD and DH to each make one dinner a week. I'll provide instructions, but there is zero reason for me to do it all. Last night DH made a lovely combo of spaghetti with meatballs and roasted broccoli. Ok--so it's frozen meatballs and jarred sauce, but I'll take what I can get very happily.
We had another Instacart order this morning. I've decided to alternate Costco and the local market for the best balance of quantity and selection. I'm a big tipper, so it's not cheap, but we spend nothing else and I'm buying fill ins for the food pantry at church.
The news is discouraging with ignorance and hate, so I'm taking a few days off--although I did listen to the queen again. Thinking about VE Day is sobering and puts things into greater perspective.
My DH and i have been talking about pulling my DD out of her part-time grocery store job. She really likes the job, but we are nervous about everyone that goes into that place. I've had several bouts of pneumonia and we both have asthma. So today, despite her disappointment, I e-mailed HR to pull her for the duration. I think it was the right thing.
And I have to say I feel so much better with her home. I knew it was making me anxious, but I wasn't sure just how anxious.
Not much other news--some papers graded, a walk in the cold sunshine and a nice pot of corned beef and cabbage.
Happy Quiet Paddy's Day to you all.
In response to CCF's idea, I've spent some time thinking about the last ten years of our financial life.
While we'd paid our mortgage down to $35,000, we used the small inheritance from my mom to pay it off. Our biggest expense is our property taxes.
We've had challenges--mostly the uncertain job market for my DH. But things seem to have settled down for him, and his contract has been extended out a year. This is the happiest he's been in a job, and also the best paid. He doesn't spend much--except on that upcoming Master's degree. He takes the bus to work, and has a free lunch.
My financial anxieties have been patched by adjunct jobs along with my regular university teaching. I'm eager to give the adjunct jobs, but will hang on for the next few in order to help fund our next big expenseD's university tuition.
She's 17 and a very low-maintenance responsible kid. She's paid all her university application fees from money earned in her PT job at the grocery store.
My biggest success has been automatically funding my university pension and retirement plan. My pay is peanuts, but this has been the reason I feel good about retirement. Years of auto-saving is the answer.
We've spent more than most on travel, but less on things that don't matter much to us like cars and toys.
I'm eager to downsize--tired of window replacements and cleaning gutters. I'd like a nice townhome or condo.
I've also found a lot of inspiration and some lovely friends here on SA. I don't have many frugal "real" friends, so have enjoyed following many of your lives.